Most small business owners and entrepreneurs start with a vision.
This vision differs from person to person, and is generally based on why they want to own their own business and what the perceived benefits are.
For some people, the attraction is all about being their own boss. For others, it is about flexibility and being able to be the ‘masters of their own destiny’. And for others, it is the opportunity to face and accomplish many different challenges associated with self-employment. And probably, for most people, it is a bit of all of these.
Of course, like everything else in life, the reality of owning your own business is not exactly the romanticized version we all dream about. In reality, especially in the early days, we work long hours, are required to juggle all aspects of the business, have to attend to mundane duties, and more often than not, also make financial sacrifices.
And, yet, we carry on!
We know – or at least we believe – that our businesses will grow into what we envisioned and we keep working toward that goal. But to get there, you must have a roadmap.
This 3 point plan assumes that you are already operating; follow it and you will be on your way to achieving your dreams.
Point 1: Setting Goals:
Every business should have a business plan. This plan should look at where you want the company to be in 1 year, 3 years, and 5 years. But you have to approach reaching these goals in bite-sized pieces, so when establishing your immediate goals, take a look at what you are want to achieve over the next year. The 7 main points to address are:
• What is your top priority for the year?
• What were your revenue goals for the previous year, and did you achieve them?
• What are your revenue goals for the current year?
• What is your customer base?
• How many new customers do you need to attract to achieve your goals?
• Are you planning to add any new products or services?
• How many leads do you need to achieve your goals, and how will you obtain them?
Point 2: Establish a Plan:
Once you have developed your goals for the year, it is time to create and develop the plan. Through the development of your goals, you have created a blueprint that is measurable. Now is the time to add the meat to the bones. Your plan should address some key elements:
• Review your previous efforts; what marketing activities have you engaged in previously to generate new business?
• Evaluate the results of those efforts – what worked and what didn’t?
• What can you change or do differently this year to generate more revenue?
• Be open to change. Is there some new way or new avenues to explore that will improve the visibility of your business and help develop more revenue?
Point 3: Establish Timelines:
Yes, we have written about this many times in the past. Yet it must be repeated. Timelines must be established so that there is a proper process and proper ability for measurement. If projects have no start time and no end time, there is no sense of urgency and no method to measure. Things just continue to float around in the ether, maybe getting done and maybe not…
Therefore, consider these factors when developing your timeline:
• Is there a seasonality or specific event around your product or service?
• What is the start date of the campaign and how long will it continue before you are able to determine whether or not it was successful?
• What is the point at which you will decide if you will ‘pull the plug’ on the initiative if it appears as though it may not work?
Following these 3 points doesn’t guarantee that your business will accomplish the goal you have set, but it will ensure that you have gone forward with a process and a plan. And that is half the battle!
Until next time…
Are you ready to grow your business now? If you’re ready to take the next step and make your business more profitable, contact us today.
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